The Duke University community can rest assured that the KKK isn’t running around campus, as if that was ever a threat in 2015.
The Chronicle reports that the administration has determined the noose hanging from a tree last month “was caused by a lack of cultural awareness and was not a statement related to racism.” Or a hoax, as suggested by the school’s earlier refusal to identify the perp’s motivation.
The still-unidentified student who hung the noose wrote a public letter to the community, posted in full at the Chronicle:
My purpose in hanging the noose was merely to take some pictures with my friends together with the noose, and then texting it to some others inviting them to come and “hang out” with us –– because it was such a nice day outside. If there was ever a pun with unintended consequences –– this was certainly one. In addition, when I left I carelessly forgot the noose hanging on the tree for the rest of the afternoon and the evening rather than discarding it, as I should have. As a result, people saw it and because of the historical meaning of a noose in the South, a fact that because of my background and heritage I was completely unaware of, conclusions were made that whomever had made the noose did it for racist reasons. This led – completely justiﬁably — to the student demonstrations, and the school’s expression of disgust of my actions. The Duke Community should take pride in the spirit that unfolded and was demonstrated by the student body during those peaceful demonstrations.
This is incredibly fishy.
First, there’s no explanation whether the open letter was required by the administration or suggested by the student, who “has gone through the student conduct process and after receiving a sanction is eligible to return to campus next semester.” Basically, if there was a quid pro quo.
The parts about “my background and heritage,” and how the community “completely justifiably” embarked on a progressive wish list of funding and training in response, sound like they were written by race activists.
And the school won’t halt its implementation of the wish list in response:
Despite the revelation that the act had no racial connotation, [Vice President for Student Affairs Larry] Moneta said Friday that the problems identified by students after the incident will still need to be addressed.
“We were also deeply involved in the impact the incident had on the community and will continue to have,” he said. “None of us presume that just because we may have reached resolution in this specific matter that that changes the need to continue to work on inclusion, diversity, racism and bias. Those continue to be issues of concern.”